Citroen WRC

Sebastien Loeb – World Rally Champion again in 2010!

Sebastien Loeb - 2010 WRC winner

A quick shout out to Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena who won their seventh consecutive World Rally Championship by claiming an outright win in the Rally of France on the weekend. It marks an amazing run of successes, which includes most titles, most successive titles, most wins, most wins in one season, most successive wins in one season, most consecutive wins on one event. That boy Loeb can drive!

For added emotion Loeb the event took in the town of Haguenau where Loeb was raised. Thousands of well-wishers surrounded the nearby liaison stages ensuring Loeb knew his success was being appreciated, “There were people everywhere on the road, and at the stage. It was rather moving,” he said.

There are still two rallies left on the 2010 calendar, but already the Citroën Racing team has given the all-conquering C4 WRC a fitting send off. Its replacement, the DS3 WRC, also made its public debut over the weekend at the latest world motor show, which is being held in Paris – where else!

Sebastien Loeb - 2010 WRC winner

Sebastien Loeb - 2010 WRC winner


Hollywood could not have scripted a better weekend (1-3 October 2010) for Citroen and Sébastien Loeb – local boy returns to his boyhood home town to contest his national rally in front of 300,000 adoring fans, he leads the event from start to finish racing through the streets of the town in which he grew up, he wins the event – his record breaking 60th World Rally Championship win – and takes his seventh successive World Rally Championship title, while Citroen, which fills podium with its C4 WRC model, takes the world manufacturers’ title.

For Loeb the win on the Rally of France further sets seal his on his total domination of the World Rally Championship record book – most titles, most successive titles, most wins, most wins in one season, most successive wins in one season, most consecutive wins on one event – a litany of smashed records all of which have the still-young Frenchman’s name at the top. Also, remarkably, this has been achieved in just two cars, first the Citroen Xsara WRC and secondly the Citroen C4 WRC. Between Loeb and Citroen, they almost have a win ratio of one out of every two WRC events entered. This season has seen them fail to finish on the podium only once and in 2006 Loeb still won the title when he missed four events due to an injury!

Loeb got his home event off to a flying start, taking the lead with the fastest time on the first four stages of Day One, but he admitted he was glad to see the back of the first day of the event because the stages turned treacherous for the second run, with mud and debris littering the road and changing the levels of grip on nearly every metre of the event.

“It was a good day, but the last stage was so tricky, it was very difficult,” said Loeb at the end of Day one. “We had to be really careful; I think we lost 40 seconds, so if somebody coming from behind wants to push maybe they can take me, but I’m happy to be here.”

Day two saw Loeb cement his grip on the event, firstly with two of the fastest stage times in the morning, almost 20 seconds ahead of any of his rivals on the longer of the two time trials, and secondly because his only rival for the World title, Sébastien Ogier retired from the event. Loeb now only had to finish in sixth place or higher to win his seventh title.

The third day of Rally France took the crews to the north of Strasbourg. The final leg on which there were no service halts, consisted of two passages through the stage in the Bitche military camp followed by two passages through the stage in Haguenau, the town in which Loeb grew up. Loeb deeply moved by the ever-increasing popular enthusiasm on the liaison stage bringing him from Strasbourg to Haguenau to race in the first city stage.

“There were people everywhere on the road, and at the stage. It was rather moving.”

Dani Sordo’s day got off to an equally emotional start – but not for the same reason!

“That little stage wasn’t easy, all the more so as I hadn’t taken very good notes. We also ran into a little hitch when a water hose fastener came off. We were able to repair it.”

Sordo rebooted his confidence by setting the fastest time in the Camp de Bitche stage in front of Loeb:

“We didn’t have any split times so it was difficult to know if we had the right pace. I was almost surprised to set the quickest time.”

Loeb admitted that he nursed his lead:

“Without the splits we were racing blind, but I didn’t take the slightest risk in the very quick sections.”

After a long regrouping halt in Bitche, the organisers decided to cancel the second passage through the military camp stage due to the number – more than 300,000 – of spectators and the rally ended in the streets of Haguenau, Loeb’s birth place.

After crossing the finishing line Loeb gave full vent to his joy by climbing up onto the roof of his C4 WRC:

“My first world title will always remain the best for me, but this one will have a special place in my heart. We won it after a very difficult race. It’s quite simply mind blowing to cross the finishing line in my home town, and it’s incredible to see so many people. I don’t think we’ve ever seen so many spectators at a rally.”

“It’s good to get to the end,” said a breathless Daniel Elena. “This route was a real challenge, but we managed to avoid the pitfalls to win the world titles for us and for Citroën.”

Second-placed Sordo also had a big smile on his face: “First of all, I’d like to congratulate Seb and Daniel who were once again unbeatable this weekend. We too had a good rally and we’re proud to have helped contribute to Citroën’s sixth world title. I hope that I’ll be a prophet in my own country in a couple of weeks!”

Olivier Quesnel, the Citroën Racing Team Principal, showed how proud he was of the work of his team and his crews: “What Loeb’s achieved this weekend is quite simply exceptional. Nobody can image the pressure on his shoulders. But he managed to ignore it when he had to concentrate on going for the quickest times. He didn’t really need to come first in this rally to become world champion, but the guy’s a born winner and he couldn’t just do the necessary. Once again, he proved that he’s the best driver in the world.”

“It’s another historic day for Citroën,” added Frédéric Banzet, the make’s general manager. “A double and the world titles for us here in France – it’s simply incredible! This result is down to the best team in rallying in the world. I’d like to associate all the men and women who work in the Citroën Racing factory in Versailles with this success, as well as all the collaborators who’ve contributed to these new world titles.”


Fastest times in the stages
Day 1 – SS 1 to 4: Loeb (Citroën C4) – SS 5: Latvala (Ford Focus) – SS 6: Loeb – SS 7: Sordo (Citroën C4) – SS 8: Latvala.
Day 2 – SS 9: Loeb – SS 10: Sordo – SS 11: Loeb – SS 12: Latvala – SS 13: Ogier – SS 14: Sordo – SS 15 and 16: P. Solberg (Citroën C4).
Day 3 – SS 17: P. Solberg – SS 18: Sordo – SS 19: cancelled – SS 20: Latvala.

Best performers: Loeb 7 fastest times, Sordo and Latvala 4 each, P. Solberg 3 and Ogier 1.

Leaders: SS1 to 20: Loeb.

Overall classification at the end of the third day
1. Loeb / Elena Citroën C4 3h05m49.3s
2. Sordo / Vallejo Citroën C4 +35.7s
3. P. Solberg / Patterson Citroën C4 +1m16.8s
4. Latvala / Anttila Ford Focus +1m29.3s
5. Hirvonen / Lehtinen Ford Focus +3m43.8s
6. Ogier / Ingrassia Citroën C4 +11m55.9s
7. Villagra / Curletto Ford Focus +14m15.4s
8. Wilson / Martin Ford Focus +14m26.9s
9. H. Solberg / Minor Ford Fiesta +16m48.9s
10. Sandell / Axelsson Skoda Fabia +17m12.3s

2 replies on “Sebastien Loeb – World Rally Champion again in 2010!”

bravo loeb et citroen,vous etes inegalable, des statistiques hors normes…60 victoires en 136 rallyes WRC pour n’en citer qu’une….Bon champion avec surtout une bonne mentalité, je l’ai croisé il y a quelques années sur le site ou je travaille “usine de moteur de Metz” Il s’est même pris au jeu de se frotter à quelques Collaborateurs du groupe en jouant en résau sur WRC, mais cette fois ci, il a perdu. Mais de bons souvenirs. Mais arrivera t il a garder sont agilités avec sa ds3 ?? On aura du mal a le dire avant le premier rallye de 2011, mais il y a des chances pour que ca se passe bien puisqu’il a grandement participé au developement de la machine… En tout cas c’est un grand champion !

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